Dr. Jesse Teng

Debunking Myths about Braces

Worried your braces will interfere with radio signals and loop bad 80s music in your head all day? Fret not: braces interfering with radio signals is just a myth, as are some of the “facts” you might have heard.

MYTH: Braces can rust.

Fact: Braces are made out of materials like stainless steel and titanium alloys, which don’t rust under normal conditions.

MYTH: Braces are magnetic.

Fact: Braces are made out of non-magnetic materials (see the “Braces can rust” myth).

MYTH: Braces are purely for cosmetic purposes.

Fact: While braces are often used to improve smiles cosmetically, the purpose of braces is to properly align teeth. This can help solve issues like speech problems, bite problems, difficulties cleaning teeth (which drastically increase your risk of oral health issues), and associated headaches and earaches.

Are you worried about the cosmetics of your braces themselves? Take a look at the different types of braces or Invisalign.

MYTH: Braces increase your chance of getting struck by lightning.

Fact: Your chance of getting struck by lightning in your lifetime is 1 in 15,300, and your braces don’t attract lightning any more than you do.

MYTH: Braces are only for kids.

Fact: One study puts the average age of orthodontic treatment at 19.5 years old. If you want to straighten your teeth, but don’t like the idea of wearing braces for a long time, take a look at accelerated orthodontics or Invisalign. Still worried what people will think about your braces? This study says people won’t think much differently of you.

MYTH: Braces will set off metal detectors.

Fact: Your average metal detector will have a hard time picking up on stainless steel (or other materials braces are made out of) due to its low conductivity and magnetic properties. Airport sensors aren’t tuned to pick up your braces.

MYTH: Your braces can get locked with someone else’s.

Fact: With the way modern braces are set up, it is almost physically impossible to get wires tangled unless they’re loose. If you have a loose wire, check out the emergency care page and see your orthodontist as soon as possible!

MYTH: Braces will prevent you from playing instruments.

Fact: While there is an adjustment curve, you should have no problem playing any instrument you want.

MYTH: You can’t play sports with braces.

Fact: As long as you wear a mouth guard, you can play sports with braces.

MYTH: Braces can interfere with radio waves/electronic signals/etc.

Fact: Your braces aren’t Bluetooth enabled and won’t interfere with much besides your teeth.

MYTH: Braces take a long time to work.

Fact: The time needed for braces to align your teeth will vary with how serious your case is and what kind of braces you have, but orthodontic treatment takes about 24-30 months on average.

MYTH: Braces are uncomfortable.

Fact: With contemporary orthodontic practices, you may feel mild discomfort for a few days after you first get your braces, but the long-term pain your friends may have reported is a thing of the past.

MYTH: My dentist has the same training as an orthodontist.

Fact: Orthodontists are dental school graduates who complete an orthodontic residency program for two to three years after dental school. That equates to an additional 3700 hours in specialized orthodontic training that general dentists or other non-specialists do not receive. Seek out an orthodontist for the highest quality of specialized and customized orthodontic treatment.

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